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Talking their way to the top

Forensics is one of the numerous activities that Shawano Community High School offers. Forensics is a competitive speech club that allows students to work individually or in groups under the advisement of coaches.  

Club members choose a Forensics category, practice a written piece and then perform in front of three judges. The judges then score their performance with a series of points.

On February 26, 2018, the Forensics club competed at the Sub-District Competition here at Shawano Community High School.

“Students must receive at least 16 points in two of their three speaking rounds to advance to the next contest – District Competition in Marinette on March 17,” said Forensics coach of four years Mr. Nathan Falk. “At the competition in March, students must earn at least 20 points in two of their rounds to advance to State, held on Saturday, April 21.”

However, that did not rattle junior Matthew Schwitzer.

“The [February] Forensics meet is slightly important,” he stated. “I mean, it is important in the sense that if you don’t do well enough you might not get the required points to go to the next meet, but the judges are pretty lenient, and you don’t need an outrageous amount of points to move on.”

Schwitzer choose the category Solo-Acting and performs humorous pieces.

“I like the reactions of the people I am performing for the most,” he explained. “I usually do comedy routines – Louis C.K., George Carlin, stuff like that – and it is pretty fun to make people laugh.”

Also like Schwitzer, junior Rosalinda Oviedo and senior Ruthie Tucker enjoy making their audience laugh. Oviedo and Tucker work together under the Forensics category Group Interpretation.

“Right now, Rosa and I are doing a piece called, ‘Around the world in a bad mood’ and it’s about two flight attendants who hate their job, and it’s really funny,” Tucker stated. “My favorite part of performing is when the judge is laughing really hard.”

This is Oviedo’s and Tucker’s first year competing.

“I’m a rookie,” stated Oviedo, “but Forensics is definitely helping me get out of my comfort zone and is also helping me find joy in things, such as public speaking, which I never thought I would have enjoyed.”

Tucker has also found the same joy.

“This is my first year in Forensics. I really enjoy performing, and I wish I had joined earlier!” she said. “I think that even though this is my first year, I’m not that afraid of speaking in front of others anymore.”

When asked about their preparations before a meet, Schwitzer is pretty laid back.

“People should probably practice around once a week in between meets and about once or twice a night leading up to the night,” he states. “I, however, usually practice about ten minutes before I perform.”

Oviedo and Tucker also had a relaxed practice schedule.

“My partner and I  practice a few days before the meet,” said Tucker. “We should practice more, but we didn’t get eliminated this round so that means that we did good.”

Overall, the SCHS Forensics team is aiming to make it to state, one speech at a time.